Courtesy: Singapore Swimming
[SINGAPORE, 22 March 2023] – Asia’s big guns in water polo stayed through to form on the opening day of the Asian Water Polo Championships as top sides like Kazakhstan and China eased to victories.
Kazakhstan and China are the only teams in the competition to have qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. And they showed their calibre on day one of action.
In the morning match, the Kazakh women beat hosts Singapore 12-7 in the first of their two matches in the double round-robin format. Later in the afternoon, Kazakhstan beat the Philippines 19-6 in the men’s competition to round off a perfect day.
China put in a dominating show to trounce Singapore 23-1 in the men’s competition. Singapore national men’s coach Kan Aoyagi said his team were overawed by their more accomplished opponents.
He said: “We couldn’t put in a good performance as they (the team) were very nervous. Their mentality is that we lost to China before so they felt (China) are very strong and maybe that’s why they were scared and didn’t have confidence.
“We had a lot of sparring matches to prepare for this tournament, but we didn’t have many official games and perhaps the players are not used to it. I’m happy to be sparring with China even though we lost, as our target is to win the SEA Games.”
Singapore women’s coach Luo Nan also cited nerves as a crucial factor in his team’s loss: “Today was the first game and the girls played well. They were a bit nervous but of course, they could have done better.
“We need to focus more on the opponent’s counterattack and our own passing and shooting success rate to improve.”
In the day’s other women’s match, Uzbekistan beat Thailand 16-13.
The men’s matches started in the afternoon with Iran dominating the waters in a 2-16 match against Hong Kong. Pattanit Chompoosang from Thailand was awarded Player of The Match in their showdown with Uzbekistan as he guided them to a convincing 17-9.
The eight men and four women teams will compete over the course of the next five days to qualify for May’s World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup – Division 2 Qualifier in Berlin. Only the top four men’s and top two women’s teams will make the cut.
Please find the event photos in the Google Drive link here.
Tickets for the event range from $10 to $20. A bundle of four matches for the day is going at a discounted price of $30 per person. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/waterpolo0323.
OPENING DAY’S RESULTS
Thailand vs Uzbekistan
- Score: 13-16
- Player of the Match: Nino Gavashelashvili from Uzbekistan
Singapore vs Kazakhstan
- Score: 7-12
- Player of the Match: Mirshina Anastassiya from Kazakhstan
Hong Kong vs Iran
- Score: 2 – 16
- Player of the Match: Mehdi Yazdankhah from Iran
Uzbekistan vs Thailand
- Score: 9-17
- Player of the Match: Pattanit Chompoosang from Thailand
Kazakhstan vs Philippines
- Score: 19-6
- Player of the Match: Berbelyuk Yegor from Kazakhstan
Singapore vs China
- Score: 1-23
- Player of the Match: Xie Ze Kai from China
ABOUT SINGAPORE SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) is the National Sports Association governing aquatic sports in Singapore. These include five key disciplines – diving, open water swimming, swimming, artistic swimming and water polo. As the national governing body, SSA spearheads its vision of developing the Republic to become a leader in aquatic sports – regionally as well as globally. Closer to home, SSA collaborates with various affiliate clubs and stakeholders, to proactively nurture a greater depth of local talent through various outreach efforts and programmes. Our vision is to become a world-class aquatics nation, with the goal of making every Singaporean a swimmer.